While an overseas gap year might be off limits, NSW is open for business and the state government wants young people to take a gap year in Regional NSW.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor today attended the Avorama avocado packing facility at Stuarts Point on the Mid North Coast to announce the Regional Gap Year campaign which will give young people new skills and a chance to earn money while they make lifelong friendships.
Mr Barilaro said regional agriculture, hospitality and tourism sectors continue to face significant worker shortages so the campaign and website will be a first port of call, encouraging young people to take a gap year break in regional NSW and helping them to find work and plan ahead for a safe, fun and rewarding experience.
“Regional NSW is on track for recovery, but we desperately need a helping hand to support businesses on that journey and the campaign launched today will connect young people with the great variety of jobs and experiences on offer,” Mr Barilaro said.
“It’s great to see so many people holidaying in regional NSW and enjoying country hospitality but it’s also clear that there aren’t enough staff to fill tourism and hospitality positions.
“We want to remind young people that a Regional NSW Gap Year is a chance for career development and adventure and with thousands of jobs, there’s something for everyone, from fruit picking in Armidale, to pulling a beer in Ballina, to taking tours in Tamworth.”
Mrs Taylor said a Regional NSW Gap Year offers young people all the benefits of a traditional overseas trip without the hassle of a passport or the expense of plane tickets.
“People who have spent their youth working in regional communities often say it’s those adventures that have shaped their identities, given them lifelong connections and provided them with life skills they’ve taken from the bush to the boardroom,” Mrs Taylor said.
“For 17 to 24 year olds who have missed out on their planned gap year in Europe, the United States or New Zealand because of COVID-19 and border closures, now is the chance to explore the local culture, history and beauty in your own backyard.
“The job opportunities are diverse, often with better pay then you might expect and I know that young workers will be welcomed with open arms by regional communities where people will recognise the contribution they provide.”